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Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 02 Mar 2019, 16:45
by Chikari
[Following is a volunteer review of "Misreading Judas" by Robert Wahler.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Misreading Judas: How Biblical Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time by Robert Wahler was an interesting read. Wahler challenges the idea that the betrayer Judas story is the full story. Rather, he suggests that there is much more going on than presented by the present-day Bible. He bases these assertions partly on the context of The Gnostic Gospel of Judas. This text first surfaced publicly in 1970. Wahler suggests that the Gospel of Judas wasn't interpreted properly because traditional Christian scholars did not take the Gnostic view points into enough account.

This book is more of a comparative analysis that draws from the Gnostic texts, the New Testament, and the Eastern spiritual work of Maharaj Charan Singh. The book is split up into 4 parts, an introduction, and a conclusion/summary. I found that this sectioning works well so that the reader can follow Wahler's thought processes. The most striking assertion to me was Wahler's discussion about Judas being the same person as James.

I grew up in a stricter Christian household, so this book intrigued me. As I grew up, I started questioning the interpretations of the Bible I had read and if there might be more to the story. I found Wahler's analysis both interesting and easy to follow. This book would be better for those with an open mind and those interested in learning more about religion. It would be best for those who have some background in reading and understanding the Bible. I wouldn't recommend this book to those who are very strict in their beliefs or younger audiences. It might be a bit too much for them to take on without further research.

I am rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. I am giving it this rating because it is edited well and easy to understand. Any sort of assertive essay is useless unless the intended audience can understand what is being said. Wahler does a good job at explaining his points. The pacing can be a bit fast, but I found that I understood much better if I just took a few moments to read more carefully and by taking time to reflect on what I had just read.

I was also inspired by Wahler's statements in the conclusion of the book. He mentions that this book might not be appreciated right away, but he hopes that someday scholars will come to share his views. I find this optimism to be refreshing. Having the courage to speak up when you have different views can be an amazing thing! I found that I was able to take his words more seriously since I knew just how sincere Wahler is being. Overall, I enjoyed this read and would want to check out other texts by this author.

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Misreading Judas
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Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 23 Apr 2019, 11:55
by juaningning_19
Nice review. I will read this. I am a Christian also so I find it very intriguing :D

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 23 Apr 2019, 23:35
by Nerea
I'm surprised to hear that there's Gnostic Gospel book. Mmmmhhhh... Despite the author's honest sentiments in his writing, I still wouldn't read the book. It's best that way. Thank you for presenting an informative review.

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 01 May 2019, 05:26
by Kibetious
This sounds very interesting. It would be nice to read this. Thanks for the enthralling review. You have brought out the book summary really well and precisely.

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 01 May 2019, 10:25
by Feyisayo akande
Wow! As a Christian, I will like to read this. The review makes me have more interest in reading the book. What a great review, thanks.

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 01 May 2019, 13:49
by ccundall2130
There are so many great books out there that I find it difficult to read this one. I've a strong Christian faith and was raised in a lax Christian household, so I've developed my beliefs as an adult and have done my own research. I find I'm not that interested in reading this book and that may seem narrow-minded. Maybe someday I'll finish it. The review is thought-provoking and solidifies my thoughts on this book. But, it's never a closed subject for me.

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 01 May 2019, 23:59
by Ayanfe4luv
I am a Christian and the gospel of Judas and those of Thomas, as far as I know had been highly discouraged from being read. They are seen as books not fitting for sound doctrine. Your review however brings some issues to the surface.
Well Judas for many Christians is seen as a bad example of a disciple who followed Jesus on earth and never made sense of discipleship.

Going through the review, above I haven't learnt about any miss understanding you discovered that this book uncover.

What's your take reviewers ?

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 02 May 2019, 00:58
by silvaharon
Not interested in reading a religious conspiracy, i will have to pass on this one #Mysticism #Gnosticism #Christianity

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 02 May 2019, 01:51
by Ayanfe4luv
This work serves as a fascinating introduction to gnosticism and his tone changes throughout the book.

If a J.K. Rowling's novel were turned into a dizzying, real-life unraveling of a newly revealed gnostic text, it might read something like Robert Wahler’s Misreading Judas, a heady nonfiction tractate that attempts nothing less than a complete upheaval of traditional Christian exegesis.


Considering the scope of the work, the book, which is divided into four sections, is surprisingly short. Wahler, a lay researcher and writer, relishes in his “outsider” status, taking aim at both Christian orthodoxy and academic orthodoxy.


In his introduction, he outlines his ultimate mission: proving that the biblical story of Judas was never a literal betrayal of Jesus but actually a description of the gnostic tradition of mastership succession and self-sacrifice. What's your take on this?


To make this case, the book examines The Gospel of Judas, which was first translated in 2006 by the National Geographic Society, as well as selections from the Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of gnostic texts discovered in Egypt in 1945. The book also examines various passages of the New Testament in light of these new gnostic readings.


Misreading Judas’s energetic, investigative tone is at first alluring, though it becomes frenetic, puzzling, and hard to follow. Source excerpts are crammed together in long, uninterrupted litanies, with only brief, intermittent explications. The book succeeds where the sourcing is less indulgent, less tangential, and better layered into clearer, more authoritative conclusions.

The impassioned tone also contributes to moments of presumption. The book’s conclusion dismisses modern-day Christians as dupes misled by corrupt institutions, and simultaneously elevates its own status to that of a heroic sage. “It isn’t a question of if, but when,” the book speculates on its own importance to religious scholarship. “No further progress in New Testament study is possible until this report is recognized as true. It will be the standard in due time.”
Well here are salient issues we can raise dusts about.


Such proclamations detract from the book’s strengths. According to the author of Misreading Judas serves as a beguiling introduction to gnosticism. The strongest passages detail the secrete and cabalistic history of the spiritual movement, and the personal nature of mysticism.


The book astonishingly connects Judas and Jesus’s spiritual practices to Eastern mysticism in India. In striving to locate Eastern precedents in Abrahamic religions, the book offers interesting and novel perspectives on biblical narratives, such as the influence of karmic cycles in the New Testament. Now this is something I know you wanna say something about.


Misreading Judas may prove too busily written and thematically arcane for the uninitiated reader. On the other hand, those interested in history, theology, and philosophy will find more than enough to keep reading.

I drop my pen here let the discussion continue.

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 04 May 2019, 01:32
by sri varshini303041
I like that you appreciate the author for putting out his opinions bravely. I agree. I think everyone should have a chance to voice out their opinion and as a society should lessen the religious sensitivity we practice. Your review was honest and concise. Thank you.

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 09 May 2019, 11:25
by waltzashley
Misreading Judas : How Bible Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time by Robert Wahler


I found Misreading Judas : How Bible Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time by Robert Wahler to be quite an informative read, tackling intricate subjects with ease and bringing Judas’ personal plight to the forefront.

The author starts out his essay by unearthing what are asserted to be the translated contents of ancient Gnostic texts that were eventually, begrudgingly analyzed by the Christian biblical scholars at National Geographic Society. Although incomplete, the texts allude to a new story that focuses almost primarily on Jesus and Judas, a story that, if accepted, would all but prove Judas’ innocence. It makes for a great entrance into what otherwise would be a dusty, boring archaeological dig that the average layperson would not inherently be interested in.

As for my understanding of the writing at this time, I have delved into some of the Apocryphal texts, so I don’t find it completely unbelievable that such a text could be discovered and translated to English so readily, but rather question the validity of the text itself in a Christian realm. It all comes down to what you believe given the facts and evidence. For my part, I was told never to add to the Holy Bible, so when reading I therefore accept apocryphal texts as not being considered as ‘holy’ or classified in the same standard as the canonical Holy Bible.

While there remains no doubt that Judas was a disciple of Christ before the betrayal, there can be no doubt that he followed after God’s will until the ultimate betrayal. Therefore I found the author’s use of the Gnostic text to be ineffective in proving Judas’ innocence. Peter [another disciple of Christ], for example, denied knowing Jesus when questioned 3 times, but later on made amends and was forgiven by Christ after He was resurrected. I think the difference between the two disciples’ errors shows that something of an apology was missing between Judas and Jesus, and the Christ’s rejection of Judas stands as evidence enough of the betrayal, but that is just my opinion.

Wholly intriguing and easily understood, this essay leans heavily on physical evidence to drive home it’s message. I rate it a 4/4.

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 10 May 2019, 21:21
by Eclecticmama
I too grew up in a Christian household, so I am curious about what this author has to say about Judas. The title of this book has me cautious to think maybe he is giving Judas a hero role. Your review is very informative, but I don't know if I have an open enough mind for this one. Thank you for the great review!

Re: Review by Chikari -- Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Posted: 14 May 2019, 13:49
by Ayanfe4luv
Eclecticmama wrote:
10 May 2019, 21:21
I too grew up in a Christian household, so I am curious about what this author has to say about Judas. The title of this book has me cautious to think maybe he is giving Judas a hero role. Your review is very informative, but I don't know if I have an open enough mind for this one. Thank you for the great review!

Opened mindedness doesn't mean to be gullible not being able to sieve and discern between what is a lie and expected. I love your focus i.e. not open minded enough for this sounds subtle.